Client: US Forest Service
Waterways staff led an interdisciplinary team to assess existing conditions within the Blackwood Creek Watershed, and then prepare detailed engineering plans and specifications for recommended projects. Blackwood Creek is a major tributary to Lake Tahoe, drains a mix of steep volcanic and granitic terrain, has a high bedload transport rate, and was historically impacted by grazing, logging, and instream gravel mining. Key impacts identified during the study were excessive bank erosion and channel widening associated with channel incision and loss of floodplain connectivity and the presence of several fish passage barriers. To restore the physical processes that sustain channel morphology and biological function, an aggressive, long-term restoration strategy was proposed. To date, four distinct restoration projects have been designed and implemented:
Client: Town of Truckee
The Town of Truckee has partnered with the Truckee River Watershed Council and Truckee Development Corporation in a multi-objective redevelopment project that seeks to revitalize the downtown and the adjacent rail yard, reduce flood risks for businesses and residents, and improve the natural environment. The focus of this project is restoration of Trout Creek and development of open space that connects residents and visitors of the Truckee area to important natural resources. Waterways is leading a team of consultants tasked with enhancing habitat values and functions of Trout Creek.
North Fork John Day Watershed Council
Fox Creek has been identified as an important spawning and rearing tributary to the North Fork of the John Day River in Eastern Oregon. Impacts to the stream and watershed include fish passage barriers associated with passive diversion structures, water withdrawals during the critical low flow summer season, lack of adequate fish screening at water diversion sites, and severe channel incision that was causing reductions in water quality associated with bank erosion and loss of a continuous riparian canopy, loss of functional floodplain habitat, and conversion of productive hay fields to marginal rangeland as water tables declined. These changes were having a noticeable impact on the economic viability of the land and the sustainability of natural ecological processes.
Client: Latimer Environmental
The Hillsboro Landfill is a construction-demolition waste landfill situated on 400 acres south of Hillsboro, Oregon between SE Minter Bridge Road and the Tualatin River. With the landfill operations located at the northeast end of the property, the south and west sides of the property contain wetland mitigation sites adjacent to the Tualatin River. Waterways was retained to design an outfall from the constructed wetlands located at the south end of the property that provides a geomorphically stable discharge into the Tualatin River.
Client: City of Watsonville
Several decades ago a wetland was ditched and drained to convert the historic wetland into farmland on the Manabe property in Watsonville, California. The City of Watsonville purchased the Manabe property and contracted with Waterways to design a plan for restoring the farmland back into wetland. The project successfully restored the property by:
- Converting the site from a degraded wetland dominated by dry season agricultural uses to a functioning wetland system.
- Improved wildlife function in the restored wetland by recontouring the site to create a mosaic of channels, islands, and floodplain benches revegetated with locally obtained native wetland, riparian, and upland plant species.
- Improved Slough circulation by increasing open water habitat and connectivity between different parts of the Slough system.
- Improved water quality in the Slough by pre-treating adjacent runoff from industrial and residential areas in a forebay and vegetated swale system.
- Improved recreational use of the area through aesthetic improvements and construction of pedestrian pathways adjacent to the site that will connect with existing trails as recommended in the Watsonville Trails Master Plan.
Client: Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County
Waterways provided geomorphic assessment, land surveying, and engineering design services for ecological enhancements to a degraded reach of Sycamore Creek, at the confluence with Uvas Creek. The design included recontouring channel banks and the creation of inset floodplain benches to reduce erosion. Native vegetation was established on graded areas. Hydraulic control structures installed at the project included periodic boulder weirs and stilling pools for energy dissipation and a sheetpile cutoff at the project terminus. The detailed grading plan allowed for the retention of mature riparian trees within the project footprint.
Client: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The Seestrom Tidelands Restoration project will construct approximately four miles of tidal floodplain channels and restore fish access and tidal flows within a 300-acre working pasture property in the lower reach of the Coquille River, Oregon. Conversion to pastureland at the site began in the early 1900s with the clearing of native forest, construction of levees and linear drainage ditches, and installation of tidegates, which are currently in disrepair, preventing active tidal flows and fish movement.
Client: Oregon Parks and Recreation
Waterways Consulting recently completed a restoration plan for Jackson and Netarts Creeks for Oregon Parks and Recreation District at Cape Lookout State Park. The focus of the effort was to evaluate the hydrology, geomorphology, and habitat conditions of Jackson Creek, the principle stream that flows through Cape Lookout. Approximately 60 years ago, a portion of Jackson Creek was diverted to Netarts Bay to increase freshwater flows into Netarts Bay with the hope of improving the commercial oyster beds. Impacts associated with the diversion and associated flow split were addressed in the restoration plan as well as opportunities for enhancement of the Jackson Creek mainstem downstream of the diversion site.
Client: Scappoose Bay Watershed Council
In 2000, the Scappoose Bay Watershed Council (SBWC) completed a watershed assessment for the streams and catchments that enter Scappoose Bay. The watershed assessment identified several areas of concern affecting watershed and ecosystem health. Of particular concern was the potential impact that incision has on channel and floodplain interaction and the ability of the stream to support and maintain good aquatic habitat. A 5 mile stretch of South Scappoose Creek that flows through the City of Scappoose was determined to have high priority for further assessment. It was identified as a priority for further assessment due to local concerns about erosion and flooding and the opportunities to enhance conditions for salmon and other organisms.
Client: City of St. Helena
Waterways staff worked with the City of St. Helena and a team of consultants to design, permit, and construct a multi-objective flood control project that provides 100-year flood protection for residential properties along the Napa River, restores important floodplain and aquatic habitat, and improves public access. Specific elements of the project include a geomorphically-based floodplain terrace, shoreline restoration involving removal of an existing gabion and rip-rap bank protection structures and replacement with a natural point bar shoreline configuration, bioengineered bank stabilization structures, FEMA certified levee setbacks and floodwall construction, relocation of homes from the floodplain, and approximately 2,500 ft of pedestrian trails with interpretive signage.
Client: Clean Water Services (CWS), Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL)
Waterways assisted CWS and DSL in the planning and design of a 20 acre mitigation bank in the Tualatin River Watershed to provide wetland, temperature, and salmon credits. In addition to providing purchasable credits, the project simultaneously tested a function-based accounting system developed by the Willamette Partnership’s Counting on the Environment program (http://www.willamettepartnership.org). This program was developed with the help of public, private, and non-profit stakeholders to develop a shared accounting system for quantifying impacts and benefits to ecosystem services for application to ecosystem markets. The Partnership completed a test version for water temperature, wetlands, salmonid habitat, and upland prairie that was applied to pilot projects in the program. Half Mile Lane was one of the pilot projects that tested three of these services, and was the only pilot site thus far that resulted in real-world transactions. Therefore, this project tested not only the ecosystem credit calculator, but also the sequence of developing, selling and buying ecosystem credits.
Client: City of Watsonville
Waterways staff developed a restoration plan for an area in the Watsonville Slough near Ramsay Park. Initial assessment of the Project Area identified an old landfill adjacent to Ramsay Park as a high priority site to develop plans for restoration project implementation. The Ramsay Park site was part of a larger restoration planning process that identified and prioritized a range of sites in the area (including the landfill site) A complete restoration plan for the Ramsay Park was developed to a level for project implementation. This included a hydrologic and ecologic assessment, a biotic report, wetland delineation, engineering plans, and a design report. The design aimed to create a wetland setting with irregular shorelines, suitable vegetation and natural wetland features that would serve to restore and enhance wildlife habitat and wetland functions on site.
Client: Tualatin River Watershed Council (TRWC)
In March of 2003 the TRWC completed work on the Lower Gales Creek Habitat Enhancement Plan. Gales Creek is a major tributary to the Tualatin River in Washington County, Oregon. The Enhancement Plan identified potential restoration projects designed to improve habitat conditions for steelhead and other salmonids. To evaluate the feasibility of implementing potential channel, floodplain, and habitat enhancement projects, TRWC retained the services of Waterways staff to conduct a comprehensive geomorphic assessment of the planning reach and prioritize potential restoration options. The geomorphic assessment and project feasibility study was completed in 2005. Following completion of the study, Waterways has continued to work with the TRWC by preparing construction documents for site specific projects aimed at enhancing channel and floodplain function, improving in-stream and off-channel aquatic and wetland habitat, and restoring riparian areas. Waterways and TRWC has worked closely with landowners and other stakeholders to achieve the identified goals.
Client: Environmental Stewardship and Planning
The Potrero Hills Landfill is in the process of expanding its facilities. The proposed landfill expansion will encompass 170 acres of land and will impact approximately 3 acres of wetland and pond habitat that serve as breeding habitat for the California Tiger Salamander (CTS). Measures to mitigate impacts to CTS include both habitat conservation and wetland enhancements that focus on key species listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Client: Wasco County Soil and Water Conservation District
Mill Creek is a moderately-sized tributary to the Columbia River that originates on the eastern slope of Mt. Hood and flows northeast through the City of The Dalles, Oregon. Urbanization along the lower two miles of Mills Creek in the City of The Dalles resulted in the simplification of the aquatic and riparian habitats. In 2011, The Dalles Watershed Council (DWC) commissioned an evaluation of the urbanized reach to assess land use impacts and identify opportunities for habitat restoration. Following the initial assessment, a preliminary engineering design was developed for the Honald/Buyers property. The preliminary design included excavation and connection of a historic side channel that had been partially filled, utilization of an existing side channel as a backwater alcove, installation of a precast spanning bridge across the reconnected side channel, and installation of large wood structures along the channels and floodplain to increase roughness and improve habitat conditions.
Client: California State Parks- Diablo Vista District
The Mitchell Creek Riparian Restoration and Fish Passage Improvement Project provides for removal of four small dams and the decommissioning of defunct access roads along a reach of Mitchell Creek, within Mount Diablo State Park. The design includes approximately 400 feet of constructed roughened channel to provide fish passage through the grade transition created by the various impoundments. In addition to the fish passage improvements, the project removed aproximately 2,500 cubic yards of impounded sediments from upstream of the site to restore floodplain function and reduce local bank erosion. The design included the installation of large wood elements obtained on site to provide bank stability and enhanced pool development. Waterways provided construction oversight for the project.
Client: Vail Resorts
Waterways staff was retained to prepare the Edgewood Watershed Assessment and Enhancement Plan (EWAEP) for the portion of the Edgewood Creek watershed managed by Heavenly Mountain Resort, located in the Lake Tahoe Basin, as part of the resorts 2005 Master Plan. The purpose of the EWAEP was to identify potential restoration projects in the Edgewood Creek watershed to improve Stream Environment Zone health and improve water quality. The final EWAEP was submitted in January 2006 and was followed by four restoration designs completed in 2006.
Client: USFS- Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
Waterways, in coordination with the USFS Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) and Swanson Hydrology, has developed designs to restore the mainstem and tributaries of Cold Creek in the High Meadow Complex (HMC) near South Lake Tahoe, California. The basic restoration objective is to increase soil moisture within approximately 70 acres of meadow area by modifying the morphology and hydrology of the streams in a manner consistent with natural geomorphic processes. Work involves re-constructing approximately 8,700 linear feet of channel and raising the elevation of the streambeds by 2 to 4 feet. The project will significantly increase the diversity and density of meadow wetland vegetation species and shift some areas from seasonally dry and sparse mesic meadows to wet meadow conditions.
The project’s three-year construction plan was completed in 2012, with Waterways providing on-site construction observation.
Client: City of San Jose
Waterways staff was retained to assess existing conditions and provide recommendations for enhancement of riparian and aquatic habitat along 2.5 miles of stream channel within Alum Rock Park, in the City of San Jose. The assessment identified Quail Hollow as a high priority project site based on fish passage impediments, stream channel erosion, and recreational access concerns.
Client: American Rivers, Inc. & Placer County Resource Conservation District
Waterways was selected to develop and analyze alternatives for ecological restoration of the Hope Valley Meadow on the West Fork Carson River, with a primary goal of enhancing the full range of ecosystem services this highly visible and well-known meadow provides.
Client: MCS, Corp.
Waterways recently prepared detailed engineering plans and specifications to construct a wetland mitigation site in the historic floodplain of Yakima River in Washington. The site was historically leveled and channelized for livestock grazing before being purchased by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). BLM has been managing the property to reduce invasive weeds for several years in anticipation of this project, which was initiated as a mitigation site for a nearby gravel mining operation with direct impacts to a nearby wetland.
Client: Truckee River Watershed Council & California State Parks
A 2007 geomorphic assessment of the Coldstream Canyon watershed identified opportunities to restore stream and watershed function along the lower one-half mile of Cold Creek, extending upstream from the confluence with Donner Creek. Waterways, in coordination with River Run Consulting, prepared final designs for the restoration of this reach. Designs included inset floodplain bench excavation, re-contouring of steep banks and log/boulder barb installations to reduce bank erosion and expand and improve riparian habitat. Waterways and River Run also provided permit support and construction oversight.
A watershed assessment prepared for the East Branch of Soquel Creek identified high sediment loads, lack of pools, low summer base flows, and high water temperatures as limiting factors for steelhead and coho production. In 2013, the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County contracted with Waterways to prepare a feasibility analysis and engineered designs for a biomechanical bank stabilization of a large eroding cutbank and for habitat enhancements along approximately 1,500 feet of channel banks that were covered with unvegetated riprap, resulting in lack of habitat complexity or riparian cover.
Client: Santa Cruz County Resource Conservation District
Waterways staff prepared engineering plans and specifications for stabilization of approximately 100 linear feet of stream bank on Corralitos Creek in Santa Cruz County, California. The bioengineered bank stabilization included fabric encapsulated soil lifts contained within a log revetment structure. Logs were selectively harvested by thinning redwoods from an adjacent grove, thus reducing the cost and environmental impact of the project. Our staff performed construction supervision to ensure successful implementation. Revegetation has been successful and the bank now provides quality habitat in addition to controlling bank erosion and sedimentation in the creek.
Client: California Trout, Inc.
Lower Hat Creek is an important coldwater fishery and is a designated Wild Trout Fishery by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Decades of cattle grazing, the introduction of muskrats, and over fishing caused the degradation of riparian and aquatic habitat along lower Hat Creek. Waterways, in collaboration with Streeter Group and California Trout, Inc., completed designs to restore a reach of Hat Creek. The restoration measures included installing a 160’-long pedestrian bridge and trail, and relocating the parking facilities that improve angler access and reduce habitat disturbance. Additional enhancements included placing large in-stream wood structures to improve trout habitat. Installation of the wood structures was completed in 2015, with the bridge installation occurring during 2016.California Trout filmed the bridge construction and the video can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp9cy-d8XV4
Client: Yamhill Basin Council
Gooseneck Creek, tributary to Mill Creek and the South Yamhill River, is an important tributary for steelhead/coho salmon spawning and rearing. The project area is located above the confluence with Mill Creek in a portion of the channel that was historically impacted by aggregate mining. Waterways was contracted by the Greater Yamhill Basin Council to develop a restoration design for approximately 2,000 feet of Gooseneck Creek that was incised down to bedrock due to past mining activities and historic plugging of a secondary channel. Confinement of the channel, in-channel mining activities, and loss of secondary channels had all but eliminated the natural pool-riffle morphology with a consequent loss of aquatic and riparian habitat.
Client: The Nature Conservancy
Independence Lake holds one of only two known wild, self-sustaining populations of Lahontan cutthroat trout in the world - a species that has been lost from 99% of its historic range. Waterways staff are proud to have assisted The Nature Conservancy in their efforts to protect and restore this critical habitat through the planning and design of a barrier to exclude non-native fish from the lake.